Police pay tribute to girl’s lifesaving actions on motorway

Ellen Macfarlane.
Ellen Macfarlane.

Police have praised the heroic ‘life saving actions’ of a young woman from the Ballymena area who prevented a potentially catastrophic multi-vehicle crash on Saturday evening.

And now the stirring tribute to Ellen McFarlane has gone viral on social media as posters flocked to heap praise on the local woman.

Ellen’s actions on the M2 just outside Ballymena were highlighted by a police officer writing on the hugely popular Craigavon PSNI page who was in no doubt that the ‘broad accented country girl’ had been a real lifesaver.

The officer, who had been driving back from the golf in Portstewart, wrote: “I saw a girl by the side of the road signalling frantically for me to slow down. It’s a good job, as right round the corner was a vehicle suddenly stopped in the middle of the outside lane with its hazards on just at the end of the motorway. As I slowed down I noticed someone hunched over a motionless body on the grass verge, and more than 50 metres down the road, a motorbike on its side.

“As I pulled in and ran over to the biker, it became clear how fortunate he was. A Red Cross ambulance was travelling just seconds behind him and he was already being treated! It got better still, as an off duty NIAS paramedic arrived.

“It was only as I spoke to our control room so the guys knew what they were responding to that I looked back down the road at the girl who had initially flagged me down and really took stock of what she was doing. She was now saving all of our lives.

“There were cars coming off that corner in the overtaking lane in excess of 80mph and if it weren’t for that girl doing her bit, that crash would have ended up being a multi vehicle pile up. Without doubt, lives would have been lost or at very least - changed forever.

“While many drove by in the seconds after the crash, she stepped up. She did her bit. She may not have been a trauma Doctor or a uniformed police officer, but she knew something needed to be done, and she did it. If you’re reading this, broad accented country girl (hi), then well done you! While others set about doing their medical work, you had their back until our uniformed guys got there. We need more people like you!”

Shortly after he posted, it emerged that Ellen was the angel of the highway!

By Monday morning, the post had been shared more than 5,500 times and shared by almost 30o people.

Ellen, who works for Charles Hurst in Belfast, said she went into action when she realised that the injured motorcyclist was getting first aid treatment.

“I decided the best thing I could do was go to the bend and try and attract the attention of other drivers to get them to slow down. All I could do was wave my hands about frantically and point in the direction of the accident. Some cars were flying around the bend but thankfully everything went well and now we’ve been told that the motorcyclist is recovering.

“I have to admit I was amazed at how the post went viral - and perhpas the best bit about the comments from the policeman was the reference to the ‘broad accented country girl’, I did some laughing at that one,” said Ellen.